4 Nov 2013
The Final Report and Policy Recommendations from an independent Rural Commission set up by the Scottish Conservatives were unveiled in Edinburgh today.
Party leader Ruth Davidson MSP formally accepted the document from Commission chairman Hughie Campbell Adamson.
Mr Campbell Adamson and five other commissioners have spent more than a year examining all aspects of rural life, including agriculture, housing, planning, transport and environmental issues.
They also heard how many communities are struggling to survive because of poor broadband access.
Around one in five people live in rural Scotland, which makes up as much as 94% of the country’s land area.
The Rural Commission accepted written and oral submissions from experts and ordinary members of the public from across Scotland.
This evidence has been collated and the 97 recommendations were today presented to the Scottish Conservatives for consideration.
The party will now consider the detail of the report, which will help inform future manifestos.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:
“My thanks go to the Chairman and the other five commissioners for producing such a thorough and weighty piece of research on the many and varied issues facing rural communities across Scotland.
“Around one in five people in Scotland live in rural communities and it’s vitally important that they have the same access to housing, services and employment opportunities as everyone else.
“Scottish Conservatives understand the importance of meeting the needs of those in our countryside and are committed to using the recommendations in the Rural Commission report to bring forward new policies to help these communities prosper for decades to come.
“With almost 100 recommendations to study, on everything from agriculture to access to broadband, there is plenty of evidence for the party to consider in deciding how we best meet the needs of those living in rural Scotland.”
Rural Commission chairman Hughie Campbell Adamson said:
“When I agreed to take on this independent piece of work with the other commissioners our only brief was to come up with a set of recommendations which would make rural Scotland a better place to live.
“As a group we all have expertise in various areas of rural life, giving us an understanding and passion on the challenges faced by people living in the countryside.
“The fact the report has taken more than a year to complete shows the enormity of the task involved with evidence received on all aspects of rural life, including agriculture, housing and planning.
“We all want to see rural Scotland flourish and we hope these 97 recommendations go some way to helping to achieve this.
“We have now handed over the recommendations to the Scottish Conservative Party to provide them with guidance on developing future rural policy.”